The Troubled Development of Destiny

Wolven

The Wolf of TNE Street
#1
Destiny was one of the most massively hyped games of the PS4 and XBO generation. Being spearhead by Bungie and funded by Activision, Destiny had a lot of potential. Boasting a half a billion budget, Destiny began being concepted around 2009, as Bungie begun teasing it by putting an easter egg in Halo 3 ODST saying: "Destiny Awaits". It wasn't until later on, in 2011, when Bungie began teasing more of Destiny in their documentary, "O Brave New World". Destiny was by then known as "Project Tiger".

On 2012, it was revealed that Bungie had entered a publishing deal with Activision, revealing that they were planning for the series to have 4 games during a ten year contract. In November of that year, Destiny was officially announced by Bungie via artwork and lofty ambitions. Two years after this, Destiny would finally be released.

After generally positive feedback from the alpha and beta, Destiny released to a very lukewarm reception. Many people found the game lacking in content and story, and it was even revealed to not have costed the half a billion dollars. How did this come to be? The publisher of Call of Duty and the creators of Halo delivered a game that did not meet expectations.

The thing is, that this game had a very troubled development. From the start, there was a lot of tension between the publisher and Bungie. This was because the vision for the game was very clouded, one part wanted to create a very epic, story driven game, the other one wanted to make a game with a low barrier of entry.

After Joseph Stanton left Bungie, the whole thing fell apart. The team lost a lot of time trying to get things back together, this is the reason why Destiny is so bare bones. Content was cut and replaced as DLC to buy the team time to get the main game out.

In February of 2014, Bungie was desperate and they began making huge revisions to the story. Originally, different races would have had different introductions, and starting areas, but at the end they were all made to fit in within the Exo's introduction. The factions in the Last City had their own, unique stories which were cut out. Many areas were also cut out and AI was meant to be smarter than what was shipped out. The writer for the Grimoires was forced to work around what was left of the game. And most of the voice acting was also redone or cut out.

The original story revolved around a character called the Crow, which the player meets early in the game. Crow's group of guardians abduct the player. The story was about something wrong with the Traveller and the Speaker, as we find out that the Traveller is also the cause of the collapse of humanity.

Destiny has had a long, winding story from its conception. There are many more areas planned for the game, such as Jupiter, Saturn and Europa, and some areas that will probably never see the light of day, such as Old Chicago. Destiny is by all rights, a great game with great gameplay and visuals, but it has a very distinct lack of content, due to its many downs during development.
 

Aki

Well-Known Member
#3
Great article, Wolven. Only thing is that I can't see how you can call it a great game when the single player campaign and story are virtually non-existent and the loot drops are severely broken. Yes, the gameplay is spot on, and the graphics are good and interesting, but I don't think that's enough to justify calling it a great game. To me a great game equates to 8.0 or higher. For the reasons mentioned, I'd dock more than 2 as most reviewers have.
 

GaemzDood

Well-Known Member
#5
Sounds like Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords all over again. Hopefully, they release a PC version so modders can create a content restoration mod.
 

Wolven

The Wolf of TNE Street
#6
I know that I'm like.... months late, but here we go:

@Aki Destiny disappointed on many fronts, but it still has tight gunplay and nice graphics, accompanied by a gorgeous soundtrack. For me, its above average even though it lacked in content and world.

@Ex-Actarus Destiny cannot be directly compared to any MMO in my opinion... the closest thing would be Planetside 2 and they aren't even similar. It is much more content light than most MMOs, even when WoW was still vanilla. The experience is more comparable to something like Halo, where you can do co op campaign and still participate in multiplayer events... the most MMO-like features it has are the hub area, the raids/strikes and the ability to meet players randomly, but it is very hard to compare it to other MMOs. Destiny is its own beast
 

Shoulder

Your Resident Beardy Bear
#7
As I've mentioned in the past, I enjoyed the hell out of the Beta, even though it was short-lived. That being said, I think Destiny is a great game, with great mechanics. It won't be the greatest game ever made, not by a long shot, but it does provide entertainment, and keep in mind this is only the first game. Imagine what will happen with the forthcoming sequels in the coming years. Based on the 4 games in 10 years contract thing, expect a new Destiny in 2016.
 

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator
#8
This is mostly recapping some stuff that appeared on Reddit from a Bungie dev talking about Destiny's development awhile back:
https://www.bungie.net/en-us/Forum/Post/70895980/0/0

You never know if someone's posting with an agenda, of course. But honestly, most of the complaints I read on Destiny aren't character-arc related (although those are indeed common complaints); it's about the multiplayer grind:
http://kotaku.com/five-months-in-hardcore-destiny-players-are-hitting-a-1684813586

Improvements to story would mean precisely dick if your loot system is a touch off, and that sounds like it's a much bigger issue for Destiny:
http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2015-02-18-pick-ups-and-play-how-monster-hunter-gets-loot-right

Selling Western players on a slay 'n loot-style of progression is hard enough; it's harder still when it isn't done to near perfection. But anywho, I'd wager it's fairly common for a big new IP's reach to exceed its grasp. Destiny sounds like the type of game I could get into, and the inevitable sequels will probably allow Bungie to shape a more cohesive style here.
 

Wolven

The Wolf of TNE Street
#9
@EvilTw1n Yeah, I should have cited my sources.. My major complaint still remains that the world wasn't fleshed out more. That could do wonders for a game. I realize that the grind is awful. But take LOTRO for example: that game has such an amazing and expansive world to explore that you can overlook the bare-bones gameplay. LOTRO is even more grindy than Destiny, you grind more than even Hyrule Warriors in the game, but the world sinks you in and you want to explore more and more. Destiny could have really used this, instead of putting it in the Grimoire system, integrating the world with lore would have helped a lot.
 

Aki

Well-Known Member
#10
I know that I'm like.... months late, but here we go:

@Aki Destiny disappointed on many fronts, but it still has tight gunplay and nice graphics, accompanied by a gorgeous soundtrack. For me, its above average even though it lacked in content and world.
That's exactly what I told you, aside from the above average part. I found the game to be average at best.
 

Wolven

The Wolf of TNE Street
#11
That's exactly what I told you, aside from the above average part. I found the game to be average at best.
Poor wording on my part.... sorry!!! What I meant was that for me that makes a quality game, I just realized that I reworded you..... but for me the two most important things are gameplay and graphics, and Destiny ticks both of them, except that it lacked in many departments it promised on.
 

Ex-Actarus

Well-Known Member
#12
@WolvenofGames , the biggest issue I have with Destiny it's the Universe. I just don't feel it... In Halo, you just needed few minutes to be completely immersed in the Universe. In Destiny, it's weird. It's like a fake world, more like a virtual world or something. I can't care less about the story and the characters. This is such a colossal failure for Bungie who managed to build the most excited Universe in gaming IMO with Halo. I really don't know how they bounce back in Destiny sequel...
 

Wolven

The Wolf of TNE Street
#13
@WolvenofGames , the biggest issue I have with Destiny it's the Universe. I just don't feel it... In Halo, you just needed few minutes to be completely immersed in the Universe. In Destiny, it's weird. It's like a fake world, more like a virtual world or something. I can't care less about the story and the characters. This is such a colossal failure for Bungie who managed to build the most excited Universe in gaming IMO with Halo. I really don't know how they bounce back in Destiny sequel...
That is the very exact same thing with me... one of the reasons I love MMOs (and Halo, Elder Scrolls, etc.) is the world building. That is a very important part for me. Destiny is one of the biggest "oh what it could have been..." for me when it comes to world building. I love gameplay, and I believe it is one of the most important things for a game to have, but if your gameplay is boring but your world building is amazing, I will most likely spend a lot of time on your game (for example, LOTRO)
 

GaemzDood

Well-Known Member
#14
A lot of the rumored axed story content was either never there in the first place or literally fanfiction. By the way, The Taken King is fucking great.

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